VoxHealth
Medical Conditions

Influenza

Synonyms: Grippe, Flu

Overview

Flu is a respiratory infection caused by a number of viruses. The viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. Between 5% and 20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies, and people with certain chronic illnesses.

Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. They may include

Is it a cold or the flu? Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches. Flu almost never causes an upset stomach. And "stomach flu" isn't really flu at all, but gastroenteritis.

Most people with the flu recover on their own without medical care. People with mild cases of the flu should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care. If you get the flu, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms.

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus

Symptoms

Symptom
Frequency
Fever
Cough
Sore throat
Nasal congestion
General pain
Vomiting
Headache
Chills
Nausea
Head cold
Show more symptoms
Diarrhea
Chest pain
Earache
Dizziness
Abdominal pain
General weakness
Shortness of breath
Stomach pain
Fatigue
General ill feeling
Congestion in chest
Back pain

Demographics

Age Distribution

A wide range of age groups is affected.

Gender Distribution

Influenza is significantly more common among males.

Medications

Available Over-the-Counter

Medication Name
Substance
Drug Class
Tylenol
acetaminophen
Pain Relievers
Motrin
ibuprofen
NSAID Pain Relievers

Prescription

Medication Name
Substance
Drug Class
Tamiflu
oseltamivir
Antiviral Agents
Relenza
zanamivir
Antiviral Agents
Rapivab
peramivir
Antiviral Agents

Risk Factors

Racial/Ethnic Distribution

Prevalence is significantly higher among Asians.

Seasonality

Prevalence is significantly higher in the winter.

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All the data above are calculated from anonymized medical records.

Bars in this color represent statistically significant associations.